Author Topic: Looking to buy, what to look for???  (Read 419 times)

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Offline hoof

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Looking to buy, what to look for???
« on: April 11, 2009, 01:04:50 AM »
I am looking at a 1989 RC, to be used mostly to pull a small camper, third vehicle.  It seems like every model has an "achilles heel,"  what should I look for on this truck before purchase?  It has some significant rust at the rockers, but I can weld in new metal to fix that.  It is a 360, but I don't know anything else about the drivetrain.  It has 94xxx miles, and the interior is clean.

Thanks,
CHAZ

Offline beachbum85

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Re: Looking to buy, what to look for???
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2009, 01:56:37 AM »
Welcome to the best source for Ramchargers/Traildusters on the Net ;D

If the '89 has a solid undercarriage, and appears to be in good condition, I would say to go for it! Be sure to do a search for 89 info, 360 info, and info for whatever tranny it has. These trucks are really under-rated IMHO!
No, I don't post much. I know how to use the "Search" feature!

Offline Duffy

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Re: Looking to buy, what to look for???
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2009, 04:05:15 AM »
When I was looking at getting my RC, these are the things I looked at.

1.  Look at the under side, specifically for any dents on the skid plates from being abused off road.

2.  Look at the axles for dents, scratches, or damage from hitting anything (again, hitting something off road).

3.  Have someone start it while you're outside looking at the exhaust pipe and watch for smoke (bad valve seals, etc).

4.  Take it for a test drive, take notice of any "odd" noises or rattles that might mean broken/loose parts or nuts/bolts

5.  Look for any abnormal leaks

6.  Pull the dip stick on the motor and trany and smell it to make sure they're O.K.

7.  Make sure all the gauges work.

After you get it home, put it on jackstands and take the tires off to get a look at the brakes, and make sure the seals, wheel cylinders, calibers are not leaking and that the rubber and linning are in good shape.


When I was looking, you wouldn't believe some on the crap I saw.  On one truck, the skid plate was dented so bad, it pushed the trany into the floorboard.  Another had a leaking front axle from 1/2" wide gouge from what I think he drove over a concrete barrier or something.
92 Dakota V6 P.O.S
96 Mazda B3000
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70 Newport Custom 54k miles, mint condition

Offline Rambunctious86

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Re: Looking to buy, what to look for???
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2009, 05:56:43 AM »
IMO, the best models are the early ones that have the big blocks and pop tops or the 93 which comes with a magnum 360 and OD.  Both would be great for towing, but the 93 would be most likely more reliable.  Any of them are good, look for the 360 for towing.
1986 Ramcharger, 4" Lift, 360, 727, 208, 60/14 w/ 4.56, 39.5's TSL, detroits. SEE IT

Offline ToxicDoc

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Re: Looking to buy, what to look for???
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2009, 11:29:29 PM »
THe real Achilles heel of Dodge's is the electrical systems.  They've had a few screwy circuit designs.  If the previous owner didn't hack things up, the issues can be repaired fairly simply.
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Offline Doomdriver

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Re: Looking to buy, what to look for???
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2009, 09:59:21 PM »
I agree 100% with Toxic...RC's are fairly easy to work on but you'd be surprised how quickly some of the electrical gremilins make you wanna push it off a cliff! If the previous owner did anything to the electrical system beyond an aftermarket radio make SURE he knew what he was doing or paid someone who did.
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